As Promised…My Ashton Kutcher Story

15 Sep

My husband and I went to the first taping of the new season of Two And A Half Men. Neither of us has ever seen even an episode of this show but upon hearing that Ashton Kutcher was replacing Charlie Sheen in the cast, I knew this was something I needed to be a part of. Plus I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have been able to get my husband to attend with me without the lure of Ashton. This is the first live taping of a sitcom either of us had ever been too and this is how it went in a nutshell…

Los Angeles is an hour away from where we live, give or take, and me being the I’d-rather-be-early-than-late type insisted we get their way earlier than necessary. Also it says right on the tickets that seats are not guaranteed (they give out more thickets than they have seats just to be sure to fill their audience) and they suggest arriving 90 minutes early (in fact it said that they wont let you in any earlier than that). So not wanting to have driven all the way to LA just to be turned away because seats are filled, we arrive 3 hours early. 3 HOURS EARLY. I’m well aware that that’s double the 90 minutes they suggest, but I was not being turned away!

We arrive at Warner Brother Studios and see a ton of people waiting in a designated waiting area. So just to be safe we check with the guy at the security gate and tell him we have tickets to see the Two And A Half Men taping. He says something along the lines of “You’ve got the lucky tickets” and raises the gate for us to enter. Now we’re thinking a mixture of things, “Wow great they let us in already! We don’t have to wander around for 90 minutes!” and “What are we gonna do for three hours? I’m hungry”.

Once we’re directed to our place in line amongst all the other people waiting around, we’re given our golden tickets (little pieces of yellow paper) signifying our guarantee into the studio. We were 146th and 147th in line. 147TH! To a thing we were three hours early too AND they said they don’t even let people in more than 90 minutes early!! I’m convinced everyone was there to see Ashton and I’m probably right.

I won’t bore you with the details of waiting for two hours, being asked to do an on camera interview by the network about why we were there, going through security twice and trying to figure out if the people directly in front of us were related or dating (I kid you not they didn’t say a single word to each other for two hours, in the end I decided they were father and daughter and she was mad because he insisted on wearing a sweater vest to see Ashton).

Seriously walking through the Warner Brothers lot was awesome. We saw the stage where Friends filmed for 10 years, we saw famous people’s parking spots, oh and I saw Rachel Bilson in the bathroom (has a new show called Heart Of Dixie  on the CW which I’m sure she was there filming). We dried our hands next to each other and I was at least a head taller than her. I didn’t say anything to her because someone already startled her half to death when she came out of the stall by screaming “RACHELLL”, so I felt bad for her. Plus her security guard looked ready to rip heads off.

We finally get seated in the farthest possible row back (next to angry and papa sweater vest) and settle in for another 45 minutes of waiting. The old man who was obviously the crowd warmer walked around saying hi to people and asking if they were excited. I mean really this old man? He’s the one who’s supposed to entertain us in between takes?! This can NOT go well.

Oh how wrong I was.

Guys this old man had jokes! He was making fun of people left and right. He made people do crazy dances for candy, I’ve never been so wrong in my life. He was immediately “on” in between takes, playing games with the crowd, giving away prizes, he honestly made the experience of sitting in an audience fun.

All of it was very exciting, the introducing of the creators (Chuck Loore for life!), the funeral scene they had filmed the day before they made us watch to get the laugh track, the filming of the first few scenes without Ashton and then his anxiously awaited appearance, the filming of every scene at least twice to have a back up film incase one got ruined, the actors messing up their lines (only happened like once), I loved all of it. ALL OF IT.

Ashton was very serious about his acting. You could tell he really took it all seriously even though it’s a sitcom and supposed to be funny. He even asked Chuck to redo a scene once because he felt like he could do it better, real talent people. It was obvious he’s very skilled and professional.

My favorite part though (and I’m sure everyone who was in that audience would agree with me) was in between two takes of the same scene when our old man friend started to play a dating game with us. You know like one of those “bachelor behind door number one” type games. He didn’t tell us this dating game was his plan though he simply asked in his always excited voice “Who’s single out there? Do I have any single people in the audience?”

A few people raised their hands expecting to get some candy reward or something and the old man picked this sweet looking probably 19-year-old from the front row and made her join him up front.

“Now were gonna play a little game and find you a nice young man to go home with today!”

Shock and horror on her face and she shakes her head no. This is not what she bargained for but you can’t stop that old man once he gets started.

“Alright do we have any single guys? Any single guys out there?”

Then the old man proceeds to pick three random guys from the audience. One skinny and weird (he’s volunteered to do everything this old man has suggested including making farm animal noises), one slightly overweight guy and a really overweight guy. This poor girl is watching these guys getting picked and joining them up front, with her horrified hands covering her face and still shaking her head as if she can’t believe this is happening to her. I think she even tried sneaking back to her seat a few times. But to everyone else in the audience who isn’t being mortified this is hilarious and we’re cheering everything on!

The whole time we’re playing this dating game, Ashton and the other actors are taking direction from the director and resetting to do the scene again.

Then the old man turns the girl sideways so she can’t see as the bachelors all switch places and prepare to be asked questions. The old man then asks them ridiculous questions and refers to them by the appropriate bachelor and then their number 1-3. One of the guys insisted on answering everything dirty, referring to sausages and a nutty candy bar. As the audience we of course laughed our asses off at this. Poor mortified girl.

At one point he makes all the bachelors sing a song. When the really fat guy was singing (horribly) Ashton looks up at him from his place on set with a look like “why is he doing that?” (remember this is Ashton’s first time with an audience on this show and he is far enough away to not really know what’s going on in the audience), the fat guy has his back to Ashton though so only the audience can see him. Ashton starts shaking his head “no” and covering his ears from this guys singing. We all laugh cause we agree with Ashton, the fat guy can sense that we’re all laughing at him and whatevers happening behind him so he turns to see Ashton, who pretends he wasn’t covering his ears and gives him a thumbs up! Um hilarious Ashton. We love you for being a part of our stupid game.

While all of this is happening the lucky girl who is definitely going to find her soul mate on this game show has her eyes covered and is still shaking her head! All she hears is our laughter at these guys who she already knows are all ridiculous.

Alright almost time to shoot the scene so lets wrap this dating game up and find this girl a husband! The old man starts asking the girl which guy she’d like to go home with.

“Is it bachelor number one, bachelor number two, or bachelor number three?”

Girl shakes her head refusing to pick any of these creeps. So the old man picks for her.

“Okay bachelor number two it is!”

All of a sudden Ashton climbs up to where the audience seats are and motions to the old man that he wants to be the guy when she turns around (um yeah that’s how cool Ashton Kutcher is guys). Our old man friend quickly dismisses the creeps back to their seats, the audience all start cheering and standing in their seats (he was literally standing right in front of us so people got excited), while the poor girl covering her eyes thinks we’re all just really excited about her possible future with bachelor number two. The old man continues his facade as Ashton takes his place standing behind this girl.

“Okay when you turn around bachelor number two is going to give you a big hug!”

Ashton nods his head as she shakes her head “no”.

“Okay bachelor number two put your hand on her shoulder”

Ashton obliges.

“Okay bachelor number two put your hand on her other shoulder too”

Girl shakes her head “no” some more. Ashton obliges.

“Okay when you turn around bachelor number two is gonna give you a big kiss!”

Ashton shakes his head “no” and then holds up his wedding ringed hand showing us the audience he’s married and wouldn’t do such a thing, which by the way I love.

“Okay turn around!”

It takes a good 15 seconds before she actually turns around to see the creep she thinks is touching her. But oh the surprise on her face as she sees its Ashton Kutcher! Big hug from Ashton as she cries. He jumps back down to the set to get back to filming. Not really sure why people cry when they see celebrities but maybe she was just so relieved it wasn’t that weird guy hugging her who thinks it’s a good idea to say he’d describe himself most as a Nutrageous candy bar so she can enjoy his nuts, she really dodged a bullet there.

Anyway how awesome is Ashton to participate in a stupid little game just to give his fans a little something extra. If you ever get a chance to go to a taping of Two And A Half Men I recommend it. Even if Ashton doesn’t just up into the audience and participate, the old man will be there with his candy and magic tricks. Plus it’s free and they give you pizza!

It might be because writing for TV is what I wanna do for a living that made every part of it seem so cool to me but honestly I think it’s fun for everyone (18+ show actually).

…that wasn’t really “in a nutshell” was it?


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